The Curious Case of Willie Chirino

Willie Chirino was born in 1947 in Consolación del Sur, Cuba, as a handsome, musically talented 30-year-old who hasn’t aged a day since. Think we’re lying? Look at his album covers. One Man Alone, from 1974, shows him in profile, with the setting sun breaking across a thick, Chevron-style mustache. Six years later, his hair is even fuller for 1980’s Diferente. In fact, all eight album covers from the 1980s — and this is pre-Photoshop, people — show a guy just breaking 29. Flash-forward to 2008’s Pa’lante, and Chirino — coat over shoulder, tie loosened — appears all of 26. Did he make a pact, à la Robert Johnson, with the Devil, or is the Miami style of salsa music he invented some kind of acoustic fountain of youth? It’s worth showing up to the American Airlines Arena to find out. Who knows? In a few years, Chirino might have de-aged to pre-puberty and you’ll have missed your chance.
Sat., June 6, 8 p.m., 2009


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